Thursday Numbers

It is better to deserve honors and not have them than to have them and not deserve them. – Mark Twain

Welcome to “Thursday Numbers!” In case you’re a first-time visitor, this is the weekly column where I take a look at the numbers that are in the news (in descending order) and provide commentary sometimes sprinkled with just a little bit of sarcasm.

This week’s topics include the national debt, unemployment, former Grizzlies quarterback Jordan Johnson, congressional trips, the 100 Years of Women in Congress Act, the visit to Cuba, confidence in state government, Supreme Court spin, Daytona 500, Saint Vincent Healthcare in Billings, Ted Cruz and Canada, and much more!


As of this morning, that is our national debt ($19 trillion). That comes out to about $159 thousand per taxpayer… (

Someone needs to cut up their credit cards…


That’s how many people filed new claims for unemployment last week. (USDOL)


That’s how much former Grizzlies quarterback Jordan Johnson will receive from the state of Montana regarding how campus officials handled rape accusations against him. He was acquitted of rape in 2013. An attorney for the state contends they opted to settle the dispute in the interest of all parties rather than do battle. (Missoulian)


That’s how many trips members of Congress and their staffs took in 2015. The cost was nearly $6.2 million. (LegiStorm)

Those were the trips that were actually reported…


According to the Great Falls Tribune, Rep. Ryan Zinke, R-Mont., and Rep. Grace Meng, D-N.Y., have introduced the 100 Years of Women in Congress Act in honor of the 100th anniversary of the first woman elected to Congress, Montana’s Jeannette Rankin.

The bill is H. R. 4570.


President Barack Obama will visit Cuba next month. It’s been about 88 years since a U.S. President visited Cuba. (ABC News)

I think President Obama’s trip is a good thing…


That’s the percentage of Montanans who have confidence in their state government. For my readers in Missouri, only 50% have confidence in their state government. (Gallup)

I wonder if any of the 72% of Montanans ever witnessed the circus in Helena every two years…


According to Organizing for Action, on average it has taken the U.S. Senate 67 days to confirm recent Supreme Court nominees and President Obama has more than 330 days left in office.

Organizing for Action is a pro-Obama/Democratic group. The Republicans are doing their part by sending emails asking for supporters to sign a petition to stand with Senate Republicans as they hold their ground in waiting to confirm a new justice until after 2016.

My favorite argument in the Supreme Court debate is when the GOP says, “They filibustered our President’s pick for the Supreme Court first.” I also enjoy it when a photo is added to bolster the claim. It’s a ridiculous argument.

The environment in Congress so toxic that there is little hope for any bipartisanship. As their bosses, we deserve better.


This Sunday will be the 58th running of the Daytona 500 NASCAR race. (Daytona 500)

You know you watch it for the wrecks…NASCAR has become a lot like professional wrestling.


The Department of Justice announced yesterday that it has reached settlements with 51 hospitals in 15 states for more than $23 million related to cardiac devices that were implanted in Medicare patients in violation of Medicare coverage requirements. Saint Vincent Healthcare in Billings is one of the hospitals included in the settlements. (USDOJ)


That’s the age of U.S. Senator (R-TX) and Presidential candidate Ted Cruz. Cruz was born in Canada and held dual Canadian/United States citizenship until May 2014. (Dallas Morning News)

I guess Cruz figured since he was running for the highest office in the United States that he should pick the USA, eh…


Is it me, or is it getting hot in here? The Associated Press reported that the January figures are in, and Earth’s string of hottest-months-on-record has now reached nine in a row. But NASA said January stood out: The temperature was above normal by the highest margin of any month on record.

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7 thoughts on “Thursday Numbers

  1. Barry: Anthony Kennedy was nominated in 1987 and appointed to the bench in 1988 (an Election year) by Reagan.

  2. Barry: Schumer’s remarks don’t say what the Gooper propaganda is telling you they say.

    “What Schumer actually said was that Senate Democrats had been hoodwinked by President Bush’s first two Supreme Court picks – Roberts and Alito. They’d accepted assurances that they were mainstream conservative judges who would operate with the precedents and decisions of the Rehnquist Court but hadn’t. (Certainly, the experience since 2007 has more than ratified this perception.) Schumer said Democrats should try to block any future Bush nominees unless they could prove that they were ‘in the mainstream’ and would abide by precedent.”
    There’s even video posted rightwingnut orgs at this link:

  3. 51 – Medicare recipients are cash cows. My mother-in-law has been in a long-term care facility for five years. I know of residents in their 80s and 90s who went through surgery, only to die shortly after the procedure. It is distressing.

  4. 88-Maybe he’ll like it so much, he’ll retire there!

    67-Mike, this is a ridiculous comment, in that, Obama has yet to nominate anyone…no sense dissing the GOP if they haven’t done anything to be dissed about, yet…so go out and kick the ant hill again!

    • Barry – Thanks for your comments. As for Cuba, if that is where Obama decides to retire, great. I don’t care.

      Seriously, I think progress is being made with Cuba. There’s nothing like the people there seeing a little freedom and liberty from the thousands of Americans visiting there to open the floodgates for them to have a better life – and more freedom down the road.

      As for the Supreme Court you said, “no sense dissing the GOP if they haven’t done anything to be dissed about…”

      The fact is they did do something. Within a few minutes of Scalia’s death, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the following in a statement:

      “The American people‎ should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court Justice. Therefore, this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new President.”

      So before they even knew who Obama might nominate, they shot it down.

      Thanks again,


      • That’s just politics and rhetoric, Schumer did the same thing to Bush with 18 months to go in his term…the ball is in Obama’s court, (Pun intended, HaHa!) It is just a game they play…no one gets a nod until the new POTUS is actually in office…end of story but not the rhetoric.

      • Barry – That may be true, but we’ll see who wins and loses during Election Day 2016. The difference in Schumer is that Bush ended up with his nominee confirmed. -JmB

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